AN ANCIENT HERITAGE by Brent Ashabranner


The Arab-American Minority
by & photographed by
Age Range: 10 & up
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 A fascinating picture of this large but inconspicuous group (between two and three million). Cogently summarizing their history, Ashabranner describes a steady ``trickle'' of Arabs to the U.S. from the late 19th century until 1924, when non-European immigration was severely limited. Characteristically, Arabs began as peddlars and later opened small stores; readily absorbed by the mainstream, their children often became professionals. The establishment of Israel began a second wave that included many Palestinians, whose plight Ashabranner presents with well-founded sympathy. The bulk of the book is comprised of positive anecdotal portraits (beautifully supported by Conklin's b&w photos), based on interviews and featuring hard-working achievers like researchers, artists, and businessmen. A gas-station owner and out-of-work automotive worker are exceptions here; the author is deliberately countering negative stereotypes, and his examples and explicit discussion of the problem are especially telling. A bit one-sided, but still a valuable survey of the culture and contributions of this little-known minority. Bibliography; index.~(Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: April 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-020048-0
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991


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